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SSS bumps up release of maternity benefits
SSS president and CEO Aurora Ignacio said that based on preliminary data, this level of disbursement was almost double the average annual releases of P6.16 billion three years before the implementation of the law in March 2019.
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SSS bumps up release of maternity benefits

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - April 11, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Maternity benefits extended by state-run pension fund Social Security System (SSS) rose to P10.49 billion in 2020.

SSS president and CEO Aurora Ignacio said that based on preliminary data, this level of disbursement was almost double the average annual releases of P6.16 billion three years before the implementation of the law in March 2019.

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law was fully implemented last year.

With the extension of the maternity leave to 105 days as mandated by the law, the first year of implementation in 2019 saw an additional P3.35 billion in disbursements.

“Since the allowed maternity leave was extended up to 105 days, it is expected that the benefit releases will also dramatically increase. Based on our data, the average annual disbursements in 2016 or three years before implementing the law is at P6.16 billion. Now that it has been implemented since March 11, 2019, the average annual release is now pegged at P10.45 billion,” Ignacio said.

Claims, she said, would have been higher last year had the first imposition of the severe community quarantine in March 2020 not limited the mobility of claimants who are considered high-risk.

With the aggressive digitalization of the pension fund’s functions this year, however, claims are expected to rise further.

“Since the community quarantine affected the transacting public wanting to visit government offices and the fact that pregnant women are considered high-risk individuals during this pandemic, pregnant and even lactating mothers who are SSS members chose to stay at home and postponed their appointments. Hence, we expect a higher number of benefit applications this year,” said Ignacio.

A claim for maternity leave benefit must be filed with the SSS within 10 years from the date of delivery, miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy.

Applicants, however, must first notify their employers of their pregnancy for the purpose of submitting a Maternity Notification to SSS.

As more transactions are now digitalized, employers may submit the Maternity Notification of their employees through their My.SSS account.

For those who are self-employed, voluntary contributors, and members working overseas, they may submit their Maternity Notifications via the My.SSS facility in the SSS website or thru the SSS mobile app.

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